Shortly after I came out to British Columbia in early 2006 I had a case of severely high blood pressure. It wouldn't have been fair to an employer for me to work for them until I got my health situation sorted out. I was on medications to lower the blood pressure and it took until early 2007 to find the cause. I finally went to a naturopath who found that a microscopic parasite was the cause for all this.

While getting my health in order, I took up blogging to share my photography. This way I wasn't wasting time and others got to enjoy the photos, not just me and those close to me.

In May of this year I had a mini-stroke cause again by severely high blood pressure. I may end up gong to the naturopath again since the specialist and other MDs can't seem to find the cause. This has only been a problem out here. Before that in Ontario, the blood pressure was only marginally high, not severely high like in BC.

Knowledge is good because being forewarned is forearmed!

All that said, enjoy this blog and all the photos I share with you.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sculptures on Burnaby Mountain: Kamui Mintara, or "Playground of the Gods"

The view from the top of Burnaby Mountain is out of this world and perhaps it is fitting that the art sculptures found on the western end of the mountain are called "Kamui Mintara" which translates as "Playground of the Gods." The sculptures resemble totem poles. There are more than a dozen carved poles in the work created by Japanese sculptors Nuburi Toko and his son, Shusei. The cities of Burnaby, British Columbia and Kushiro on the island of Hokkado, Japan are twinned and the sculptures commemorate the goodwill between the two cities. The indiginous people of Hokkaido, and of the entire Japanese islands are the Ainu, a caucasian (white) race. The Ainu refer to the region of Hokkaido as "Kai" and this is how the region has been referred to for over a thousand years by the Ainu and neighbouring peoples. A variation of Kai is Qoy. That the Ainu of northern Japan and the First Nations of British Columbia have similar "totems" makes the twinning of the two cities rather fitting.

The photo above shows the view from western Burnaby Mountain looking west-northwest and the one below looks north up Indian Arm, off Burrard Inlet.

The complete sculptures are shown in the two photos, the one above and the one below.

This element of the sculpture above points to Kushiro, Japan. Below are some close-ups of the art work which include bear, owl and whale "totems." The owl is one of my favourites.

More on the Ainu to follow in a later post. Enjoy the photos and feel free to comment! - Volker

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